by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, today’s will read like a bunch of indecipherable nonsense (perhaps it will anyway!).
What follows is a continued analysis of the recent thoughts Ken Wilber outlined in his e-book, Trump and a Post-Truth World: An Evolutionary Self-Correction, which attempts to understand contemporary American politics through the lens of human consciousness development.
To summarize what we learned in recent posts, a new leading-edge consciousness started to emerge on the planet around the 1960’s, and it has been color coded “green” within the framework of Spiral Dynamics.
The are many positive attributes of green consciousness, but almost as soon as it got started, it began a decades long decay into nihilism and narcissism. This divergence between “healthy green” and “unhealthy green” essentially led to a momentary halt in the evolution of human consciousness, a diseased condition that existed far before Trump was elected. Trump was merely a very visible manifestation of this, an evolutionary canary in the coal-mine, which was inevitable given the circumstances.
To understand more fully, let’s examine a few excerpts from the book:
So we’ve seen just a few of the ways that the green leading-edge of cultural evolution itself had become derailed, had become significantly dysfunctional and unhealthy, had been blindsided by a performative contradiction resulting in an epidemic aperspectival madness. And under such circumstances, evolution finds it’s necessary to take certain self- correcting moves. These moves will not obviously appear as necessary correctives—they might indeed appear alarming. But the only thing more alarming would be for evolution to try and move forward on the basis of an already badly broken leading-edge. The disasters would simply increase. Green, as a leading-edge, had collapsed; and evolution itself had no choice but to take up a broadly “anti-green” atmosphere as it tried to self-correct the damage.
And the one thing that was true of Donald Trump—more than any other single characteristic that defined him is that every word out of his mouth was anti-green.
What virtually all of the above voters had in common was ressentiment— they resented the cultural elite, whether in government or universities or “on the coasts,” and they wanted, if “revenge” is the wrong word, it’s not far off. But there was, I am suggesting, another and very strong, hidden current in all of this, and that was the antagonistic reaction and turning- away evidenced by a leading-edge that had gone deeply sour and dysfunctional, and wasn’t even serving the 25 percent of the population that were themselves at green. The deeply self-contradictory nature of “there-is-no-truth” green had collapsed the very leading-edge of evolution itself, had jammed it, had derailed it, and in a bruised, confused, but inherently wisdom-driven series of moves, evolution was backing up, regrouping, and looking for ways to move forward. is included activating an amber-ethnocentric wave that had always been present and very powerful, but that had, for the most part, been denied direct control of society starting around a century or so ago (as orange and then green stepped in). When a Republican had been placed in power, which was relatively often, it was usually an orange-leaning Republican (with mandatory amber ethnocentric sub-beliefs, but talking worldcentric language).
Trump’s anti-green impulse runs serious, far, and vast (though he consciously is aware of none of this). Whether his proposals are red or amber or orange, they are always also anti-green. And that is the one thing they all have in common, whether they are red, amber, or orange—they are all energized in part by this anti-green self-correcting drive of evolution in search of a functional and self-organizing way forward (and a way that allows each of these stages an actual participation in the overall national dialogue, and doesn’t aggressively deny and ridicule any of them as being merely deplorable). As we’ll explore in a moment, amber was activated because it needed to find a way to be integrated into a larger society in a way that has been denied it for a very long time. Any specifically amber moves themselves are not directly part of the overall self-correcting drive of evolution, but the activation of amber itself most definitely is—and its voice desperately needs to be heard. It needs to be “transcended,” most certainly, but it also—the lesson here—needs to be “included,” if evolution is to return to its general functional and self-organizing drive of “transcend and include.” That is the secret, hidden, but very real drive that Trump unconsciously rode to a victory that, because its primary driver was completely unseen, was a total shock to both camps and to every major pollster anywhere.
Thus, whether he was activating red egocentric, or amber ethnocentric, or orange worldcentric, he was always also anti-green. And the anti-green current (acting in a preconscious fashion in the dynamics of ongoing cultural evolution) would allow these stages to find their station energized by something Trump was doing. It’s an astonishing amalgamation— indeed, one that many analysts claim is unique in all of American politics. Never had an “anti” stance reached out and energized so many stages— because never before had the leading-edge so blatantly failed to lead. And the overall meta-drive in all of this is to find a way that all of these previous stages can actually be heard, and truly seen, and more effectively and compassionately integrated into the larger currents of a cultural evolution in a way that green (with its aggressively deconstructive aperspectival madness) has profoundly failed to do.
Donald Trump, more than any other single factor, has (unknown to himself, or virtually anybody else, for that matter) ridden these anti-green forces to a massively surprising Presidential victory. As previous stages became, in various ways and to various degrees, activated by Trump, whether orange, amber, or red, they all shared one thing, the anti-green dynamic (a dynamic that because it was not recognized in any significant way, made Trump’s victory a stunning and unbelievable surprise to virtually everybody).
Ken Wilber does an incredible job describing the collapse of green and how this created the vacuum Trump filled in the 2016 election. What he doesn’t do much of, at least in this book, is talk specifically about the Democratic Party and the various players in it within the framework of Spiral Dynamics. So I’m going to go ahead and do that to provide additional color on what I think happened.
To do this, we need to review some of the colors of first-tier thinking. Red to green should be sufficient.